Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The "munchkin suicide" in The Wizard of Oz

I am sure many of you heard or think they have seen the munchkin in The Wizard of Oz hang himself from a tree in the Woodsman sequence. This is something that people have told me about, as well as shown me. I must admit, that at first glance it comes off quite believable, but how could it be that the editors would not catch it or remember to cut it out, if it actually happened?
Well, the answer to that is, because it did not happen. First off, this scene happens before the munchkins were even used in the movie, so they would not have been on set. During the filming of this scene, the studio brought in many different types of birds from the L.A. Zoo to be used. What one is actually seeing, is a bird streching its wings out, probably a crane or an emu,which are both quite large birds. So in fact, there is no munchkin hanging himself, its just a large bird taking a strech. At, the website below, there is a clip of this scene of the "munchkin suicide." The clip is in black and white, which makes it easier to see that it truly is a bird, but in the colored version of the movie, it is a little harder to decipher.
Jason

www.snopes.com/movies/films/ozsuicid.htm

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